Archive for November, 2017

TMQ Watch: November 28, 2017.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Before we jump into this week’s column, we wanted to link to an article on the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network’s website: “Projected 2018 NFL draft order: Browns inch closer to top pick“.

It shouldn’t come as any great shock that the Browns are in pole position, but who comes in second? And third? Hint: one of our regular readers isn’t going to like where their team falls.

Also, this amuses us, but we are simple people:

Sam Darnold denied a rumor that he might stay at USC for his junior season if the Cleveland Browns end up with the first pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Of course, there’s no reason for him to stay at USC. All he has to do is tell Cleveland, “No, I won’t play for you if you draft me.” (This is also known as the Eli Manning gambit.)

Anyway. After the jump, this week’s TMQ


Headline of the day.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

‘It Was a Blood Bath’: Freight Trains Kill 110 Reindeer in Norway

Early morning drinking.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017


White men who fear poverty are more attached to their guns, Baylor study finds


(Warning! Slideshow!)

A photographer documents heat-packing women and the guns they love

(Warning! Slideshow!)


Monday, November 27th, 2017

David Fizdale out as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. I do believe this is the first coach firing of the NBA season.

He was 50-51 after a little more than a year with the team. The big problems seem to be that he was 7-12 so far this season, they’ve lost eight games in a row, and Mr. Fizdale got crosswise with Marc Gasol (one of the team’s star players).

In other news, Ty Detmer is also out as offensive coordinator for BYU.

A firing, for sure.

Monday, November 27th, 2017

David Bailiff out as head coach at Rice.

He’d been there for 11 seasons and was 57-80 overall.

During Bailiff’s tenure (tied for the third longest in school history), Rice players have regularly excelled off the field; eight players have been taken in the NFL Draft; and the school opened the $31.5 million, 60,000-square-foot Brian Patterson Center for coaches’ offices and a locker and weight room in 2015.

He also took Rice to four bowl games.

After going 3-9 in Bailiff’s first season in 2007, Rice rebounded with a 10-3 year and won the Texas Bowl in 2008. But since winning the Owls’ first outright conference title in 56 years in 2013, Bailiff’s teams have done progressively worse.
Rice went 8-5 in 2014 and won the Hawaii Bowl. They ended 2015 with a 5-7 record and finished 3-9 in 2016.

And they were 1-11 this year, which is not a good look.

Not quite a firing, but…

Monday, November 27th, 2017

…I think this is the strangest football story (college or pro) I’ve seen so far this season. I didn’t know anything about it until this morning when I checked my phone: Mike the Musicologist had pinged me overnight, but the media wasn’t covering this when I wrote last night’s loser/firings update.

But I digress. As you know, Bob, Tennessee fired Butch Jones a few weeks ago. So they’ve been looking for a replacement, and found one…

…Greg Schiano, current defensive coordinator with Ohio State.

The name “Greg Schiano” may ring some bells with longtime readers. Gregg Easterbrook had serious issues with Mr. Schiano during his previous coaching tenures, which include a stint at Tampa Bay (where he was fired after going 11-21) and at Rutgers for 11 years before that (where he was 68-67). Most of Easterbrook’s issues seemed to be with Mr. Schiano’s alleged lack of “sportsmanship”: Mr. Schiano famously bragged about telling his teams to disrupt kneel-down plays.

Anyway. The university apparently signed a “memorandum of understanding” with Mr. Schiano, and word got out on Sunday.

Hilarity ensued. If by “hilarity” you mean “a massive s–t fit”.

Tennessee students, fans, and some political figures did not like the idea of hiring Mr. Schiano. At least part of the objection seems to be that Mr. Sciano’s previous coaching stints also include a stop at Penn State during the Sandusky era.

Schiano was known in the NFL as being a domineering leader with a challenging personality.

Giggle. Snort.

A slew of state politicians spoke out against the possible hire, and at least three local businesses announced they were preemptively banning Schiano.

Now Tennessee has apparently backed out of the deal. USA Today. ESPN.

Question 1: does Tennessee owe Mr. Schiano money? And if so, how much?

I think Brad Jones knows more about this stuff than I do, but $20 million seems unlikely to me. I can see this costing the university some money, maybe even in the seven-figure range. But it looks like Mr. Schiano still has his Ohio State job, and the contract was “subject to approval” by the board of regents…

Question #2: does athletics director John Currie quit, or get fired?

Your loser update (plus bonus firings): week 12, 2017.

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

NFL teams that still have a chance to go 0-16:


I remain cautiously optimistic. The Browns play the woeful Chargers next Sunday, and the Chargers are the team that ruined Cleveland’s shot at a perfect season last year. But: the Browns are playing in LA, those Chargers are 5-6, and they just beat Dallas at home (on Thanksgiving, yet, so those Chargers will have a few extra days to get ready and healthy).

Firings watch: in a move that was speculated on before Thanksgiving, Texas A&M fired Kevin Sumlin. He was 51-26 over six seasons, and the team is 7-5 (4-4 in conference).

Sumlin was 16-20 where it counts most – in the SEC West – and the A&M program will go more than three years without a division win at home, headed into next season. The Aggies last won at home against an SEC West opponent in October 2015, and won’t play host to another division foe until November 2018.

As one of the articles I read put it: they were paying Sumlin %5 million a year, and just finished renovations to Kyle Field. They want and expect better than 7-5.

“Our expectations at A&M are very high,” A&M athletic director Scott Woodward said. “We believe that we should compete for SEC championships on an annual basis and, at times, national championships. I believe that we need a new coach to take us there.”

And Todd Graham, also 7-5 this season (and 6-3 in conference) is out at Arizona State, also after six seasons.

As much as I dislike linking ESPN, here’s a handy chart of coach firings for you.

Quickies: November 25, 2017.

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

What do we always say, folks?

That’s right: don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.

Mike Riley out as Nebraska head coach. 19-19 over three seasons.

And this isn’t, but that soft wet sound you heard recently? That was the sound of Gregg Easterbrook’s head exploding. (For those who don’t remember, Easterbrook had some sort of grudge against Chip Kelly during his NFL coaching career, and wasn’t hesitant to advance that grudge in his column.)

Never seen that before…

Friday, November 24th, 2017

After a lot of shoving and a few punches thrown, and TCU coach Gary Patterson among those trying to keep his players from running all the way across the field into the fray, officials announced that every player on both teams had been assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

And, of course, we have questions:

This literally just in: the other shoe has dropped in Arkansas. Bret Bielema out as head coach. He was 29-34 overall in five seasons, with a record of 4-8 overall and 1-7 in SEC play this season.

Now we have a rare storm developing on the horizon. The Giants (2-9) could have a top-three draft pick and the Jets (4-6) could be in the top 10, setting up some New York-style quarterback drama come April. The last time the Jets and Giants used top-10 picks on quarterbacks in the same year was … never.

My prediction: Cleveland gets the first pick and takes either Darnold or Rosen. SF gets the second pick and takes whichever one Cleveland doesn’t. Whoever Cleveland takes plays for two years, gets battered and beaten, then gets tossed aside for another first round draft choice quarterback, and is probably out of the NFL by 2025.

I wish I didn’t think this: I’d like to see the Browns win a Superb Owl in my lifetime. But how many franchise quarterbacks have they drafted or signed from elsewhere over the years?

Administrative note.

Friday, November 24th, 2017

This is your yearly reminder that, if you shop at Amazon using the search tool on my sidebar, links in my posts, or through my store, I get a small kickback on each purchase.

Said kickbacks allow us to indulge our eccentricities, and purchase such things as expensive books on Smith and Wesson revolvers, knives, and even the occasional firearm accessory. Thank you for your continued support.

While we are on the subject of the holidays: if you are inclined to get me a present, please do not purchase this book for me. Not in a one, ten, or 20 pack. Thank you.

Also, while I would kind of like a hat from The Boring Company, $20 seems way way high to me for a gimmie cap.

Random Black Friday notes: November 24, 2017.

Friday, November 24th, 2017

Officer Damon Allen of the Texas Department of Public Safety was killed yesterday.

Texas DPS said via Twitter that the trooper stopped a Chevrolet Malibu on Interstate 45 in Freestone County, east of Waco, around 3:45 p.m. After Allen talked to the driver, the driver fired at him with a rifle, and the trooper died at the scene.

The suspect is in custody. What makes this even more awful is that this is the second DPS line of duty death this month: officer Thomas Nipper was killed on November 4th, after a vehicle crashed into the back of his car during a traffic stop.

Headline of the day:

There’s a dog head possibly infected with rabies lost in TX mail

TMQ Watch: November 21, 2017.

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving. Yes, we’re late again. Frankly, we had trouble working up the motivation to deal with this week’s TMQ.

On the plus side, though, if we hadn’t waited, we wouldn’t have been able to link this article: please go read it now, before or after you have your turkey, it doesn’t matter which.

I don’t just remember where I was ten years ago today. I can feel it. I can close my eyes and be there again, instantly. It was my first day in Iraq. The first real day of my deployment. It was also Thanksgiving.

(Thanks to Ken “Popehat” White for the tip.)

After the jump, this week’s TMQ